The 2 year post doc at the School of Computer Science in Trinity has started. The Irish Research Council have asked for a short description and also a shorter one – for a nonspecialist audience – so here they are.
Short – Paragraph synopsis:
Interactivity is at the heart of everyday digital communications – from games, apps and social media to e-learning, online shopping and museum installations. Interactivity is associated with new ways of connecting people, content and technologies containing the potential for immersion, education and even empowerment through digital communications. Yet there are many occasions where the expectations of digital interactivity don’t quite match the experience. The problem is that it is a difficult aspect of communications to define. A ‘one size fits all’ approach doesn’t work in a multifaceted 21st century digital world, where the same word is used to describe the experience both of a child learning to read using a digital tablet and a military officer conducting a remote drone strike in another country. How we talk about interactivity reveals a lot about how it operates but also tells us about its value and impact on personal and mass communications today. This interdisciplinary project bridges the humanities and computer sciences and will examine the many different ways people talk about interactivity – whether producers, designers, theorists or users – across a variety of different contexts in both theoretical and real world applications. It will use this information to produce a shared vocabulary and a set of tools for working with and evaluating interactivity in digital applications. The aim is to help designers, software developers, academics or anyone interested in interactivity to gain a better understanding of what it does, how it works and how to improve expectations and user experience.
Shorter – 2 line synopsis:
What does ‘interactivity’ in digital media really mean? This project explores how we talk about interactivity and why it is important, so we can design and evaluate digital communications more effectively.
Looking forward to this…